Sunday, January 17, 2010

Writing Friends

I have some amazingly gifted writing friends. Many of them are also successful in their writing. None, probably, as successful as they'd like to be, but there are some impressive accomplishments among them. Some are up-and-coming and have their biggest success in front of them.

I envy all of them to various degrees and in various ways.

But one thing that makes me sad is when they doubt themselves. I guess it's common in a writer to both think, secretly, that maybe you have something here and also dread that you're really just faking it and not talented at all. But when I see someone I think is really and truly talented doubt herself, it hurts. But I suffer from the same anxieties and truly have no concept of whether I myself am talented or not, so I can't blame them. I just wish I could figure out a better way of encouraging myself and others while simultaneously spurring us all on to be better.

I guess it's kind of like life. When I feel God's love for me and a sense of my own value, I want to be better, and my efforts and desires bring me joy. But when I doubt my value, my efforts to be better are drudgery and encouragement from leaders and others doesn't feel good. How can I, as a friend to writers, give them great feelings of value while also offering criticism that will bring them joy? How can I get that for myself?

Kudos to my own writer's group, by the way, who recently convinced me to take up my novel once again. Their praise gives me the energy to look at its flaws and get into the ring once again. I am so blessed to have such smart, well-read women whose opinion I can trust when they say, "Yes, it's worth continuing. You can do it."